THE FIGHT FOR COLORED MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL BOARD
News Release for the Afro-American, June 29, 1938
In a statement this week, Robert W. Coleman, Manager of the Association
for the Handicapped, claimed that the efforts initiated by the Association to get at
least one colored member of the School Board are still active. He said: "When
the time comes for the Mayor, whoever he may be, to appoint new members of
the Board we shall make a more vigorous fight than the last one. Our Asso-
ciation is still anxious for all civic and educational organizations in the city, both
colored and white, to join hands with us in this fight. We are anxious to put
forward a united effort. We welcome the aid and strength which such organiza-
tions have. We feel that all colored citizens should be interested in this most
Mr. Coleman has surrounded himself with men and women who know the
situation and who are now planning the strategic moves to be made. The com-
mittee, headed by the Manager, which visited Mayor Howard W. Jackson prior
to the last two appointments to the Board, presented a most intelligent argu-
ment to His Honor and received from him a most courteous reply. However,
the Mayor did not see fit to appoint a colored member.
The terms of three members will expire in 1940. The Association for the
Handicapped is not waiting until a few weeks before the appointments are to
be made to launch its campaign, but is now working out a line of procedure that
will be more effective than any yet tried.
The Association has received letters from City Superintendents in many
cities of this country where colored citizens are serving with credit on the Boards
of School Commissioners. Letters from colored members of such Boards have
also been received. A careful study of these letters will reveal the fact that
Baltimore is far behind in its recognition of the colored people. The time has
arrived when our people must unite 100% to guarantee the representation due
the largest minority group in Baltimore. The time has likewise arrived when
we must develop and follow our own leadership with faith and loyalty. The
Association will soon launch a campaign in Baltimore to bring about these things.
THIS LETTER WAS PRESENTED TO THE MAYOR AT THE MEETING
HELD IN THE MAYOR'S OFFICE, DECEMBER 13, 1937, AND
WAS READ BY MRS. VIVIAN ALLEYNE
December 12, 1937.
His Honor, Howard W. Jackson
The Association for the Handicapped (1145 Myrtle Avenue) is herewith pre-
senting to you, the Mayor of our City, arguments in favor of a colored represent-
ative on the Baltimore School Board.
1. Racial and religious problems do not arise when all races are given a
just and fair chance at positions which vitally affect any one or more of the
races. The exclusion of colored citizens in the governing and administrative
body of our public school system, merely because of color, creates a racial prob-
lem which your Honor can solve by appointing a colored representative on the
2. Such representation would be in line with our form of representative
government and our constitutional guarantees, and the inclination to uphold the
fundamental principles of democracy. Surely no one could maintain that in
choosing members of the Board, there should be exclusion because of color, any
more than there should be because of creed.
3. It is an undisputed fact that representation of the colored race will be
productive of much good to our community, and will also promote a better under-
standing between the respective races. One illustration of this point should be
sufficient to convince His Honor. There are certain unique problems of Negro
life, just as there are unique problems in the life of any other substantial minority.